President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to the Southern Federal District, Grigory Rapota, has visited Chechnya and met with the republic’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov. During a meeting in Grozny on March 9, Kadyrov asked Rapota to consider the possibility of creating a port special economic zone in the republic. “We don’t have the basis to get investments to come into the Chechen Republic,” Interfax quoted Kadyrov as saying. “Tax preferences, a banking system and international status for the Grozny Airport are needed. We are asking for a decision on the creation of a port special economic zone.”
Upon his arrival in Chechnya on April 8, Rapota said that “the leadership of the republic has ambitious plans for development” and that “we must together examine how to realize them.” Kavkazky Uzel on April 9 quoted Rapota as saying that Grozny Airport could receive the status of an international airport by the end of this year.
According to Interfax, Kadyrov also spoke to Rapota about the need to settle relations with Grozneftegaz, the Chechen state energy company that is 51 percent owned by the Russian state oil company Rosneft. Kadyrov claimed that Chechnya is not receiving proceeds from the sale of oil extracted on its territory needed for rebuilding its economy. On March 21, Chechnya’s parliament appealed to the authorities in Moscow to “change the existing mechanism for forming and distributing profits from oil extracted on the territory of the Chechen Republic.” Chechen officials have also denounced Rosneft’s decision to build a new oil refinery in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria (Chechnya Weekly, April 3).
On April 4, a day before he celebrated his first anniversary as Chechnya’s president, Kadyrov declared that relatives of police and military servicemen stationed in Chechnya should not worry about the fate of their loved ones. “There is no war in Chechnya now, and the relatives of police staff and military servicemen serving in our republic can be calm about their fate,” he said in a meeting with visiting Komi Republic head Vladimir Torlopov and Komi Interior Minister Gen.-Maj. Vladimir Yeremchenko.